The Well Magazine Fall/Winter 2013 - Page 18

little girl, and she didn’t have many memories of her father living Family also included close friends adopted as family. For those in the house with them when she was growing up. who knew her, if she ever called you her family, you were her She grew up in southern Georgia before the Civil Rights Movefamily and she treated you as such. She taught us to address those ment. Her home was a single-parent, female-headed household. she adopted as sisters and brothers as “Aunt” or “Uncle”, Her mom was educated and able to work selling insurance. She “brother” or “sister”. These relationships are still intact today. saw her dad and would stay with him in Florida when possible. They transcend blood, time, distance, and even death. Although her mother was a great mother, and managed to provide basic necessities, my mother said she still longed for her Home Base father’s presence. There were times she felt disconnected from Not only was I blessed to grow up with her as my mother, I family and wanted to know her heritage. also had the great pleasure of She didn’t like the broworking with her in her parken family. She said the enting programs for many reason she didn’t leave my years through the Dr. King father (yes, there were Adult Education Center and times when she wanted Kankakee Community College to) was because he was “a (KCC). One of Mom’s pracgood dad even when he tices was to involve her family wasn’t such a good husin many aspects of her work band.” She didn’t want with other families. We helped her children to experience sort clothes for needy families, the longing she’d felt delivered toys to families’ growing up without both homes at Christmas (with my parents. dad dressed as Santa), preShe loved her family pared and delivered food basand didn’t care how kets, cooked and fed families someone was related. She in Kankakee County, and the claimed all her people. Dr. Marjorie Thompson, Rev. John Thompson and their grandch [